A lot of people deserve credit for their recent success, but rookie quarterback Andrew Luck was the catalyst behind Indy's strong finish.
In the last six games of the regular season, Luck threw for 1,409 yards and 11 touchdowns. He hasn't thrown an interception since Week 14 and led the Colts to a victory over Houston in Week 17, avenging their only loss during the stretch.
Indy's defense also deserves some praise for their recent play. The Colts have allowed just 19.1 points per game since Week 12.
They haven't been blowing teams out, but the Colts have proven they can win close games. They are 9-2 in games decided by seven points or less. The Colts have also had success against good teams, going 3-1 against teams that qualified for the postseason.
Meanwhile the Ravens basically defined the phrase "backing into the playoffs." Baltimore has lost four of its last five games, its lone win (home vs. the Giants) came against a team playing its worst football of the season.
Quarterback Joe Flacco was simply terrible for much of the year, posting a QBR of less than one on two different occasions. He has completed just 58.2 percent of his passes over the last five games, and he has rightfully received much of the blame for Baltimore's struggles.
The Ravens will have inspirational leader Ray Lewis in the lineup, but I doubt his presence will sway the outcome of this one. Look for Luck and the Colts to advance to the second round, setting up a matchup to salivate over with the Colts' former quarterback, Peyton Manning.
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